Princess Raccoon

Overview

Veteran director Seijun Suzuki Branded to Kill takes a new direction with the colorful operetta-fairy tale, Princess Raccoon. When Azuchi Momoyama Mikijiro Hira, the master of Grace Castle, is told by his soothsayer, Virgen the Old Maid Saori Yuki that his son, Amechiyo Joe Odagiri, will soon usurp his place as "the fairest of them all," the king decides to banish the young man to Karasu Mountain, where the shape-shifting tanuki demons raccoon-like canines native to Japan live. Dropped at the mountain, Amechiyo ...
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Overview

Veteran director Seijun Suzuki Branded to Kill takes a new direction with the colorful operetta-fairy tale, Princess Raccoon. When Azuchi Momoyama Mikijiro Hira, the master of Grace Castle, is told by his soothsayer, Virgen the Old Maid Saori Yuki that his son, Amechiyo Joe Odagiri, will soon usurp his place as "the fairest of them all," the king decides to banish the young man to Karasu Mountain, where the shape-shifting tanuki demons raccoon-like canines native to Japan live. Dropped at the mountain, Amechiyo is greeted by the beautiful Tanukihime Zhang Ziyi, who speaks a strange language Mandarin, and whom he soon learns is the ruler of Tanuki Palace. Amid colorful painted backdrops, lavish costumes, and eclectic musical numbers, the two fall into a forbidden and dangerous romance. After they frolic in the woods, Amechiyo is taken prisoner by tanuki, but Tanukihime's hand maidens, recognizing the princess' love for him, arrange for his escape. Azuchi is determined to end his son's life, however, and even Hagi Hiroko Yakushimaru, Tanukihime's loyal henchwoman, is determined to separate the lovers, presumably to ensure the princess' safety. Princess Raccoon was shown at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival before having its North American Premiere at the 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, presented by Subway Cinema.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Fans of Seijun Suzuki's stylized gangster films who felt the director got a bit too surreal in the final moments of Pistol Opera had best prepare themselves for the onslaught of enchanting fairy tale weirdness that is Princess Raccoon. This is the only film in recent memory to include the brief but memorable image of a guy in a raccoon mask doing the Robot, not to mention a vengeful Zhang Ziyi (luminous as always as the eponymous princess) flying into a scene on a cardboard cloud, or an action sequence in which forbidden lovers are caught in a whirlpool which has been painted onto the stage under their rowboat. Once one has become acclimated to the film's wonderful stagy strangeness, it's not such a shock late in the film when two powerful adversaries are engaged in a magical battle that has reached a stalemate, and decide to go "hand-to-hand," and that turns out to mean they'll determine the outcome with a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Like Lars von Trier's post-Dogme 95 work, Princess Raccoon is, to some degree, a filmed stage production, but with its exuberantly colorful, eclectic musical numbers, it's as joyously funny as Dogville is dour. For those prepared to engage the movie's playfulness, it's a unique treat.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/13/2007
  • EAN: 4890391107770
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Source: Mei Ah
  • Region Code: 0
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 89,296

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ziyi Zhang Tanuki-hime, "Princess Raccoon"
Jô Odagiri Prince Amechiyo
Hiroko Yakushimaru Hagi
Mikijiro Hira Azuchi Momoyama
Saori Yuki Biruzen Baba
Hibari Misora
Miwako Ichikawa
Eisuke Sasai
Papaya Suzuki
Gentarou Takahashi
Taro Yamamoto
Technical Credits
Seijun Suzuki Director
Norifumi Ataka Art Director
Sachiko Ito Costumes/Costume Designer
Noboyuki Ito Editor
Ikki Katashima Producer
Takeo Kimura Production Designer
Yonezo Maeda Cinematographer
Satoru Ogura Producer
Michiru Oshima Score Composer
Sawako Ozu Casting
Ryomei Shirai Score Composer
Ken Suenaga Asst. Director
Mitsuko Takizawa Choreography
-*Mitsuko Tanizawa Sound/Sound Designer
Nobuyuki Tohya Executive Producer
Isao Tsuge Makeup
Yoshio Urasawa Screenwriter
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